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Cannabis: Is it a pain-reliever we'll all be taking soon?
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Will it ever be acceptable for us to take cannabis? Once upon a time - and it all started back in 2000 BC - cannabis was recognised as a powerful and effective pain-reliever

Will it ever be acceptable for us to take cannabis? Once upon a time - and it all started back in 2000 BC - cannabis was recognised as a powerful and effective pain-reliever.

The rest of the story you know, but scientists are wondering if we didn't give cannabis a bad press. Some are trying to rescue it from its ghetto status and restore it to full medical use as an effective therapeutic agent.

A synthetic version, called nabilone, is often given to cancer patients to help ward off the worst effects of chemotherapy, but will the day dawn when it's as widely available as, say, aspirin?

Smoking the stuff isn't a great idea, and a new study discovers - surprise, surprise - that it's as harmful as cigarette smoking, and can dramatically increase the chances of chronic lung disease. Smoking even one joint a day is equivalent to smoking 20 cigarettes, the researchers found.

Earlier studies found that 80 per cent who took the drug complained of tiredness, while, paradoxically, half said they couldn't sleep. Doctors are also worried about the drug's addictive qualities.

So, pretty much like every other drug, then.

(Source: Respirology, 2008; 13: 122-7).


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